Is there a space in your home that is small and you would love it to be bigger? Well, you may not be able to knock down a wall but you can make your small space live larger! Yes, you can! Today I’m sharing valuable tips to make a small space live large…
HOW TO MAKE A SMALL ROOM LIVE LARGE
Just to be clear we are talking about a small space you want to appear larger and live that way too. We are not talking about those gloriously tiny “jewel box” rooms that revel in being small and different.
So let’s get started with my very favorite tips that will really make a small room look larger…
LIGHT COLORED WALLS AND TIGHT COLOR PALETTE
The very best tip I can give anyone with a small area whose goal is for it to look and live bigger is to paint the walls a light neutral color. Darker colors in a small room give it a cozy but closed in feel. Light colored walls and ceiling will make a small space expand.
If this small area extends into another space make sure it is painted the same color as the room it flows into.
In my home the sunroom is small. I would love it to be twice the size but that is not going to happen! Our family and extended family love this room!
I painted the sunroom the same color as the rest of our home. It just made sense. And the soft white of Simply White by Benjamin Moore is a pretty color that does not detract from the view outside our windows.
Painting the sunroom a very light color makes it feel larger and airy. Just imagine how different it would look if it were painted any other color!
TEXTURE, TEXTURE, TEXTURE IN A SMALL ROOM
This is a tip to use for any tight color palette decorating but especially in a small area. Since we want a small room to look larger we need to edit and edit ruthlessly! Getting rid of and exchanging things that don’t work in the room.
So you might think about taking out lots of color but adding in more texture!
Our eyes can “feel” texture and it translates as interesting and becoming in our brains.
Texture = Interest!
Items like the nubby basket, ribbed pitcher, burlap trim on the pillows, and books are all great examples of texture. And using texture makes a big difference in how small rooms look and feel.
PERFECTLY PROPORTIONED FURNITURE FOR SMALL SPACES
The right furnishing can make a small space live large!
This is very important! The worst kind of furniture you can put in a small space are petite, delicate pieces or overstuffed, oversized ones.
Petite furniture will just emphasize how small your room is! And trying to stuff big rolled armchairs and tables with huge legs will make the room look uncomfortable and unwelcoming.
There is quite a subtle dance of proportions when working with a small room.
You might like to read WHY SCALE AND PROPORTION IS IMPORTANT WHEN DECORATING
The sunroom boasts a sectional but it is a very streamlined, lower profile piece in a light color. Although it is a large piece it looks in proportion to the room!
The same with the chairs in this room. They are on the smaller size and have a slimmed-down profile but they don’t look too delicate.
Here are some things to keep in mind…
- Show lots of leg. Keep skirted furniture for bigger rooms
- Use regular size furniture with sleeker lines
- Think about SCALE. Furniture that is too big or too tiny will look odd in a small room.
- Don’t over decorate. Use fewer pieces of furniture in a small room.
You might want to see HOW TO USE SCALE AND PROPORTION IN DECORATING.
LOTS OF LIGHT AND MINIMAL WINDOW TREATMENTS
Rooms on the smaller size need lots of light to make them feel more spacious. If your small room has windows make sure the window treatments on the are very basic side. Fancy or fussy window treatments will make a small area look heavy! No fluff and swags and excessive trim.
Hang curtains as high as possible and let them kiss the floor. This will make your ceilings look taller and your windows too!
Better yet get rid of curtains and add blinds like the bamboo ones above. Or if privacy is not a concern, let your windows go naked!
In our sunroom, we have lots of windows. So light is not a problem. But this room needed a bit of softness so I chose just two curtain panels to flank the middle windows in that room. And we hung them almost to the top of the wall before it goes into a cathedral ceiling.
If your room has limited windows or none at all then flood this room with lighting from a few sources. Overhead, table and task lighting should be used to create pools of overlapping light.
Here are ideas for lighting in a small room…
- medium size chandelier
- tall slender table lamps
- desk lamps with adjustable arms
- floor lamps
ADD A MIRROR
Adding a mirror can fool the eye and make a small room look bigger. The most ideal place to hang a small room is…
- perpendicular to a window so the view reflects into a room
- across from a focal point so the mirror reflects the focal point
- across from an open door to reflect what lies beyond the door
One of the biggest mistakes people make when decorating a small space it putting too much into it! When you don’t have the square footage remember to edit, edit, edit!
That’s true of the furnishings, art, and accessories!
Empty space can make a small space live large! It helps it to feel larger!
Honestly, I love this room. BUT it would feel so cluttered and close if I would hang artwork! And where would I hang it?
It has lots of breathing room because I’ve kept the furnishing minimal and low profile.
I could actually edit out the little table with the fern and I think this room would look better. But I sit in the chair by the fern and put my phone and drink on that little table too.
Remember less is often best in most decorating! You might like to see LESS IS BEST DECORATING.
Small spaces can look very cluttered if anything is out of order. Make a habit of keeping these areas especially free from anything that does not belong there!
Here are a few tips for keeping small areas tidy and organized…
- use baskets and/or bins for corralling items
- have a designated home for everything and don’t put anything in your small area that does not belong there
- several times a day do a check of your small rooms to make sure they are tidy
- before leaving your room straighten up anything out of place.
I keep a tall basket I once used as a coffee table in the sunroom and it hides things like more pillows, throws and even a poof!
It’s important to find places to keep things you need hidden yet accessible in a small room.
I hope this has given you lots of tips for living large in a small room in your home!